North Australia Digest – 24/9/12

Australian Financial Review
A Chinese sovereign wealth fund is looking to make its first significant investment in the Australian dairy industry, as China tries to secure food supplies for its growing middle class.
The head of NAB’s agribusiness division says, while the possible end of the mining boom is grabbing headlines, demand for farm commodities could underpin the economy for years to come.
This opinion piece surveys the possible consequences of a terms of trade slump and reduction in mining investment.
The Australian
The Queensland government is threatening to withdraw more than 300,000 small business employees from federal IR laws and reemploy them under state awards. Queensland is “seriously considering” applying to take back industrial relations powers previously handed over to the Commonwealth by Labor.
A government report says much of remote indigenous communities’ funding is wasted on bureaucracy.
Former Future Fund chairman David Murray has warned Australia risks falling victim to the same malaise Europe is suffering as political leaders overcommit public finances and stifle freedoms needed for a truly open economy.
The West Australian
The WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s scorecard of the WA Government’s performance says it is failing in public sector reform and industrial relations and has slipped backwards in energy, approvals and climate change.
Courier Mail
From the weekend, QLD state MP Rob Katter has called for a public debate on whether to allow a uranium export industry in Queensland, declaring in this op-ed: “Katter’s Australian Party supports a uranium mining export industry because of its economic potential, the associated development of regional Queensland and for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions it would provide.”